Illinois Men's Basketball Schedule Released Big Ten Champs Handed Another Challenging Slate Head Coach Bruce Weber leads the Illini into the 2005-06 season. Aug. 19, 2005 - Champaign, Ill. - 2005-06 Illinois Men's Basketball Schedule Fighting Illini basketball fans will be treated to one of the nation's most competitive schedules again in 2005-06. A rematch of the national championship game with North Carolina as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge highlights the non-conference portion of the schedule, while bookend contests with Final Four participant Michigan State highlights the Big Ten schedule. The Illini open the home portion of the schedule Nov. 18 when they host South Dakota State at the Assembly Hall. The Illini also host Georgetown at the Assembly Hall on Dec. 8 and Xavier at the United Center in Chicago and the 25th Annual Busch Braggin' Rights game against Missouri in St. Louis. The Illini host Xavier at the United Center in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 3, as part of a doubleheader with the Illini women who play St. Louis. Illinois will participate in the South Padre Island Invitational with two games at the Assembly Hall and two games at South Padre Island over the Thanksgiving weekend. The Fighting Illini will appear on national television at least 12 times, with several other opportunities still existing. "This non-conference schedule will be a challenge as we replace three starters in our lineup," Weber said. "We'll have to be prepared to play in midseason form in November, which should have us ready for Big Ten play come January. We'll be playing good teams at South Padre Island, followed by a game at North Carolina, a good Xavier team in Chicago, Georgetown at the Assembly Hall and Oregon out in Portland before the break for final exams. The Braggin' Rights game against Missouri is always a highlight for our fans, and this being the 25th game of the series, it will be even more special. We'll have to be ready once we get Big Ten play because I anticipate the league being extremely tough this season." Remaining television and game-time information will be released when available.